Max Verstappen powers from 10th on grid to win stunning Hungarian Grand Prix

Red Bull champion in control after another poor day for Charles Leclerc and Ferrari

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Max Verstappen produced a masterclass to survive a spin and win the Hungarian Grand Prix from 10th on the grid on Sunday and tighten his grip on the Formula One world championship.

The Red Bull world champion registered his eighth win of the season and 28th of his career ahead of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and pole-starter George Russell.

With Charles Leclerc hampered by another bout of questionable pit lane strategy to come in sixth, Verstappen extended his lead over the Ferrari driver to 80 points going into the summer break.

"What a race. I think we stayed calm and we won it," said the elated Dutchman, who responded with "not really" when asked if he thought he could win ahead of the race

โ€œI was of course hoping I could get on the podium," he added. "It was very tricky conditions out there but we had a really good strategy, we were really reactive, always pitting at the right time. I think we had some good outlaps but even with the 360 (spin) we still won the race.

"I was battling a lot of guys and it was a lot of fun out there. It was a crazy race but of course very happy we won it."

While Russell will have been disappointed not to notch up his first victory from pole, it was still another good result for Mercedes, who after their early season struggles had their second successive double podium finish.

"Great work guys, what a result for the team. So happy for you all, so grateful for you all. This is super positive," said Hamilton.

"I was definitely struggling at the beginning but bit by bit I got more comfortable with the balance.

"I had a really good start so I want to acknowledge my team. We've had a tough year and for both cars to be on the podium is an amazing way to go into the break.

"The other guys have an edge but we are clearly closing the gap. Hopefully we can bring some more into the second half of the season and start fighting with them.

"Two seconds in a row, I'm really happy so a huge thank you to the fans for all the amazing support."

Russell said: "When it started spitting at the beginning and we were on the soft tyres I thought we were on, and we had a strong start it was a good first stint, and then towards the end on the mediums I really struggled.

"Again, an amazing job by the team in pole position yesterday, double podium, we are definitely making progress so really proud of the work everyone has done.

"I'm sure there's a lot I will look over and I could have done better. Managing the tyres obviously we pitted quite early on both stints so you're trying to eat the tyre out to the end, trying to push as hard as possible at the same time. A bit of a challenging position to be in but pleased to come away with a podium.

"I think it's been incredibly intense start to the season I think a break will do everyone some good."

For Ferrari it was another case of what might have been, starting second and third on the grid but only finishing fourth for Carlos Sainz and with Leclerc in sixth.

Russell led for 30 laps until Leclerc passed him on the outside as dark clouds rolled over the Hungaroring circuit and a light rain began to fall.

With Leclerc leading, Verstappen undercut for quicker tyres. Ferrari made a mistake in choosing the more durable hard option for Leclerc.

Leclerc came in for a third tyre change on lap 55 as Ferrari's bungled tactics resurfaced the week after Leclerc crashed when leading the French Grand Prix.

The season returns for the Belgian Grand Prix on August 28 with Verstappen in pole position to win back-to-back world titles.

Updated: July 31, 2022, 3:46 PM
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